Ruby Engagement rings

by Stephen Nutley

Rubies aren’t just for slippers when you need to get back to Kansas. Red is the colour of romance and passion. That’s why ruby engagement rings are so perfect. Colourful gemstones are the key to a distinctive engagement ring. Rubies have been popular for generations, which means you can find amazing vintage engagement rings featuring this dramatic red gem. Rubies can be the star of the show, or they can share the limelight with diamonds, depending on the style of ring.

Prince Andrew gave Sarah Ferguson with a stunning ring that featured an oval ruby surrounded by ten smaller diamonds. It’s very like a ring Elizabeth Taylor received from Richard Burton. Variations of this style have been popular for more than 50 years, so you can find gorgeous vintage engagement rings like this.

Fergie’s wasn’t the first royal ruby engagement ring. In 1960, fashion photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones proposed to Princess Margaret Rose with a ring he designed himself. It featured three rubies with six small diamonds. He designed it to resemble a rosebud, a tribute to her middle name. Trios of gemstones have been featured on rings for centuries, meaning antique engagement rings of this style can be found fairly easily.


The Edwardian period was a little more than 100 years ago, but the designs still have great impact. Ashlee Simpson’s diamond and ruby engagement ring is new but inspired by Edwardian design. It features a large marquise cut diamond surrounded by a rectangle of rubies, which is then outlined with diamonds. It’s a complex and jaw-dropping design that makes excellent use of the interplay between diamonds and rubies. The delicate filigree work is also a hallmark of Edwardian jewellery.

Jessica Simpson (Ashlee’s sister) owns another stunning ring, featuring a round ruby flanked by a pair of diamonds. Even Victoria Beckham sports a ruby engagement ring. In fact, she owns a whopping 14 engagement rings, all from the same husband, David Beckham. The one he gave her in 2009 features a remarkably large oval ruby with a diamond halo.

Rubies are strong, in colour and in durability. They rate a nine on the Mohs scale, which is just a step below diamonds. Their hardness means you can find gorgeous antique engagement rings with perfect rubies. This gem is a close cousin of sapphire, as both are members of the corundum family – like many other gemstones, they endure through generations.

So, aside from the big question, the other important question is what style antique or vintage engagement rings does she prefer. Edwardian or art deco? A single stunning ruby or a trio? Perhaps a mix of rubies and diamonds? Whatever era or style she likes, a ruby engagement ring is one that will no doubt turn heads.